John Stones is not ruling out the possibility of returning to action before Christmas.
Stones is a big miss for City with the Sky Blues relying on the steel of their defence to earn narrow victories in their last three games.
Pep Guardiola was hugely disappointed to lose Stones to injury, hitting out at his congested schedule for club and country, but the defender said his recovery is moving along swiftly.
‘It’s going well, it’s been a long while since I’ve been injured,’ Stones said speaking on Sky Sports before the game.
Games Stones will miss
Shakhtar Donetsk (A) – Wed Dec 6 (Champions League)
Manchester United (A) Sun Dec 10
Swansea City (A) – Wed Dec 13
Tottenham (H) – Sat Dec 16
Leicester City (A) – Tues Dec 19 (EFL Cup)
Bournemouth (H) – Sat Dec 23
Newcastle United (A) – Wed Dec 27
Crystal Palace (A) – Sun Dec 31
Watford (H) – Tues Jan 2
‘I’d like to get back before Christmas but let’s see how it goes.
‘I think it might be just after.’
City play West Ham on Sunday hoping to extend the gap between them and Manchester City to eight points.
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Guardiola’s team are still unbeaten this season, despite Stones’ absence, and can make it 13 wins from 14 games against the Hammers.
City sit atop of the Premier League and many excited fans are hoping their side could go the entire season unbeaten.
Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala have been playing in defence in Stones’ absence.